Councils too slow in housing asylum seekers, backlog of cases mounts

terraced housesAround three-quarters of councils have a backlog of asylum seekers who are still waiting for housing, according to figures from the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA.

According to an inventory made by the COA on December 1 and published in the NRC, 319 councils still have to find homes for 5,128 asylum seekers if the councils are to fulfill their quota for this year.

Eighty-four small councils were ahead of their quotas, housing a total of 761 asylum seekers more than the government had instructed.

Residence permit

Councils are legally obliged to house asylum seekers with a residence permit. The home affairs ministry works out every six months how many that will be, based on the size of each council.

The councils with a backlog will be given a further quota for the first half of 2015 when 14,000 permit-holders will also need housing.

According to the association of Dutch councils VNG, housing asylum seekers would proceed much faster if there was more money available for the social support of these permit-holders.

The VNG will hold talks with junior justice minister Fred Teeven on the subject on Wednesday. Teeven told NRC he will discuss the support budget with social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher, who pays councils for social support.

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